Orthotics is a podiatric device that helps correct disorders of the foot and ankle. Foot orthotics is designed to correct positioning, provide arch support and reduce walking problems. There are different types of orthotics, from over-the-counter molds sold at drugstores to custom orthotics designed by a foot specialist. According to the journal Podiatry Today, selecting foot orthotics without evaluating your foot type is as effective as prescribing an antibiotic without diagnosing the illness. Here is a list of foot problems that are commonly treated with orthotics.
Flatfeet is a condition characterized by a flattened arch. Having flatfeet can cause problems in the ankles and knees by changing the alignment of the legs. While over-the-counter arch supports can help reduce discomfort, these devices are one-size-fits-all and, consequently, could result in worsened symptoms. Custom foot orthotics are constructed using a mold of your foot, ensuring that the arch is placed in the location it needs to be.
Patients that experience pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot stretching from toes to heel, may suffer from plantar fasciitis. Symptoms include stabbing pain, especially in the morning. While certain medications can help reduce pain, foot orthotics helps fix the problem by providing arch support and distributing pressure evenly across the entire foot. Over-the-counter orthotics offers some therapeutic value. Custom orthotics, however, are molded to fit the size of your foot and support your unique arch shape.
Athlete Foot Problems
Athletes are especially prone to foot problems. Baseball players, dancers, boxers, golfers, bikers and other active types put demands on their feet like few others. The American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society reports that the stresses athletes put on their feet predispose them to injuries, making an orthotic device appropriate in certain circumstances, such as preventing deformities that ordinary people are not at risk for. Orthotics can absorb shock and cushion the foot against hard surfaces.
When customizing foot orthotics for athletes, podiatrists also take into consideration issues with callouses; neuroma, a painful condition that affects the toes; and metatarsal head injury, a painful injury involving the ball of the foot. While an over-the-counter orthotic may address one or two conditions athletes are at risk for, they certainly will not address each and every one of your unique needs.
Don’t walk another day in pain. Contact NYC podiatrists at Manhattan Footcare for a clear diagnosis of your foot condition today and get the right kind of foot orthotics for you!
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